The retro-styled Chrysler PT Cruiser became an automotive legend when the final model came off the line at Chrysler’s plant in Toluca, Mexico.
Despite its successful run, now it’s farewell PT Cruiser, and hello, Fiat 500C, which will be assembled at Toluca later this year, according to reps for the company. Fiat took over Chrysler last year.
The Cruiser, which had a sensational start, sold more than a million units since its debut a decade ago. The car was put on life support last year though, during Chrysler’s bankruptcy proceedings. But the automaker decided to maintain the line to fill its inventory pipelines and use up PT Cruiser parts.
Due to its unique look, the compact PT inspired high-volume sales and was a moneymaker for the former Daimler-Chrysler company. But a redesign in mid-decade did little to goose sales, and after that the model was pretty much left to age not-so-gracefully. The Cruiser did morph into a convertible coupe in early 2005, a turbo engine was added to some models, and Chrysler tried to interest buyers with a number of “limited” editions with cosmetic dress-ups.
Still, sales dropped off, advertising for the PT was minimal and in 2009 Chrysler sold only about 50,000 cars. At its peak in 2001, the company sold nearly 145,000 Cruisers.
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